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Choosing a home heater: a complete guide

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The heroine of A. Gavald’s popular novel “Just Together” suffered from a cold in her attic room without heating and went to the store for a heater. The seller advised her to buy something really conducive to warmth, but she - the artist - chose a beautiful fireplace that "shines, but does not warm." The result was bronchitis, which brought together all the heroes and led to a happy ending. But we are not in the novel with you. We need to warm up for real, which means - choose the right heater.

How to calculate the required heater power?

Usually the choice begins with the type of heater - oil, fan heater, infrared, etc., but still you first need to understand what area of ​​the room you need to heat. We will use the method that is recommended by many manufacturers of heaters (suitable for heated premises and for all types of heaters, except infrared):

  1. multiply the area in square meters by the height of the walls in meters. For example, 15 m² * 2.7 m - we get 40.5 m³. This is the volume of the room.
  2. divide the volume by 30 - this is a coefficient calculated by experts. We get the recommended heater power in kilowatts - 1.35 kW.

There is an even simpler way: approximately 100 W per 1 m² is required, but provided that the ceilings are not higher than 3 m.


Quartz heater

If the heater is used in an unheated room, then another 20-30% can be added to the calculated power. The same should be done if the room is located in a knowingly cold part of the building: in the corner room, on the north side, if there are gaps in the windows or walls, etc.

For infrared heaters, the required power is calculated differently because they are more economical. There is no ready-made formula: the efficiency of the device largely depends on how many people and objects will be in the room, but 100 W per m² is the maximum, not the minimum for an infrared heater. Minimum - 10 times less.


Heater with waterproof casing for the bathroom

Electronic or mechanical control?

This is important if the accuracy of the temperature setting is important for you: for heaters with "mechanics", the "step" can be from 5 to 10-20 degrees, for instruments with electronic control everything is accurate - as a rule, to one degree. Of course, the electronic control expands the possibilities: for example, the timer can be set not only for the off time, but also for switching on, it is possible to interact with the heater from a distance (via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi), you can see all the instrument operation parameters on the display (of course, everything depends from the model), some models provide automatic programs and programming - setting the temperature and on and off time by day and time.


Heater Electronic Control Panel

Types of heaters by the principle of action (method of heat transfer)

Oil-filled or oil heaters: round-the-clock assistants

Everything is said in the title: inside its hermetic metal case there is mineral oil, it is heated with the help of heating elements and is an intermediary in heat exchange: the case consisting of several sections heats up and heats the air in the room. If the oil heater has fins, the heat exchange area is larger, therefore, the air is heated faster.

About oil heaters write that they "burn" oxygen in the room. We are talking about an increase in carbon dioxide in the air due to the combustion of dust (the surface of oil heaters at the maximum mode warms up quite well). If the device is not looked after, then there will be less oxygen, and the smell from burning dust will appear. Therefore, when purchasing it is important to assess how easy or difficult it will be to reach every corner of the device. Smooth and endless seem to be easier to clean, but they tend to have thin slits that are difficult to reach.


Oil heater

Among the advantages of oil heaters can be called fire safety. These devices can be left for the whole day and for the night; they turn off on their own when the air in the room or they heat up to a predetermined level. Some models are equipped with built-in fans - for forced air circulation and rapid heat distribution in the room. Another advantage of oil heaters is a prolonged effect: when you turn off the device, the case does not cool down immediately and for some time it will still be warm in the room. The disadvantages are usually cumbersome, high energy consumption and the very "burning of oxygen".

Convectors: uniformity and once again uniformity

The operation of devices of this type is based on convection: air enters the heater from the bottom, inside the case it passes through the heater (metal, ceramic or infrared) and, already heated, is released through the "slots" in the upper part of the heater. The walls of the body do not heat up above 60 ° C (it is impossible to get burned!), And, in fact, act as a chimney with a chimney, and the slots in the upper part of the body are angled to improve aerodynamics (many people think that fans are used in convectors it is a rarity: just warm air has a lower density and rises up itself).


Convector

Convectors use different types of heaters (more on this below), and the devices themselves can be made of metal or glass ceramics (the latter helps to distribute heat more quickly and evenly, but first of all it is a design solution: glass-ceramic devices look spectacular and stylish).

Convectors are gaining popularity due to the combination of the advantages of an oil heater (can be used around the clock) and a fan heater (movement of warm air). The main advantage of convectors is a fairly quick uniform heating of the room. In addition, convectors are quite light and mobile, as they have a thin body, most modern models can be hung on the wall - the kit includes mounting hardware, there are also baseboard convectors that are installed on walls close to the floor. Electronic stuffing and possibilities vary from elementary (thermostat to set the room temperature, on and off timer) to remote control from mobile devices and the ability to integrate into smart home systems. Convectors can be networked by installing them in all rooms, but heating a house with electricity is very, very expensive, and wiring must be designed for such a load.


Ceramic fan heater

Heat guns: do not beat them on sparrows

Also a kind of fan heaters, only more powerful, stronger (necessarily in a metal case), and are designed for heating large rooms that need a special approach: for example, garages, outdoor pavilions, basements. If you have a large cold room, and you need to warm up quickly, the heat gun will do. But get ready to pay the bills: it will eat very, very much electricity, the air will dry, the dust on its heating elements will burn. It makes no sense to buy a heat gun for an apartment - it turns out shooting "from a cannon at sparrows."


Heat gun

It is good if a dust filter is provided in the thermal fan or heat gun: it prevents it from entering the heating element, which means there will be less of a consequence of its combustion (an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, an unpleasant smell).

Infrared heaters: not air warms, but ... a wardrobe?

They differ in an unusual method of heat transfer: from the heater to ... objects that heat up and transfer heat to the air. That is, IR heaters do not heat the air, but the floor, ceiling, walls, furniture. That is why infrared heaters are often used on the street - in open cafes, in the country to heat gazebos, that is, where it is meaningless to heat the air - the heat will still leak. The apartments often use infrared convection heaters - they were mentioned above, this is one of the most optimal options. The infrared for an apartment is usually floor-standing, but on the street or in semi-enclosed areas, wall and ceiling are used.


Quartz infrared heater

Heat curtains - against heat leakage

Everything is simple: the device produces a directional stream of warm air that “blocks” the door or window opening. The use of a thermal curtain prevents the leakage of heat through windows, doors, slots. The length of the device should approximately correspond to the width of the opening, and the power - the higher, the higher the opening. If the room is small (for example, 10-12 m), then the heat curtain is also suitable for heating. When selecting and installing a heat curtain, the maximum installation height parameter must be taken into account. For household models, the norm is 2.7-3 m, which corresponds to the height of the doorways of most ordinary rooms. If the ceilings are high or a curtain is needed for non-residential premises, then the maximum installation height must be greater than 3 m.


Thermal curtain

Electrofireplaces: what is behind the painted hearth?

If the heroine of the novel is not lucky, then this does not mean that there are no decent fireplaces: they may well warm the room with an area of ​​18-20 m². But they are bought not for this, but for beauty. Therefore, fireplaces still stand apart among heaters.


Electrofireplace

Most models (for example, Electrolux, Dimplex) work as hybrids of radiators and thermo-fans. Special reflectors redirect heat from the heating elements to the room, and the fan accelerates the warm air through the room. Or warm air is directed to the floor in front of the device, and from there rises and spreads around the room. Power of electrofireplaces - from 500 to 2000-2500 W, as a rule, two or three power modes are provided when working with heating or precise temperature setting. In the decorative flame mode without heating, fireplaces consume a little - up to 100 W, and pleasures can deliver a lot: the flame can tremble, overflow, stream, flash, brightness can be adjusted. Electric fireplaces manufacturers compete mainly in the improvement of visual effects: who has more realistic firewood, who has fire, who has ash. A huge role is played by the "facing": here you and wood, and brick, and glass, and metal - hi tech style fireplaces are very popular. Often a fireplace can be “assembled” independently: separately select the “lining” and separately - the “firebox”. There are models that mimic the smell of burning firewood and crackle, many advanced fireplaces have air purifiers.


Fireplace

Fireplaces differ in the method of installation - they can be embedded and free-standing, among which there are corner models. Special article - fireplaces-foci. It is difficult to describe, it is necessary to see! They are expensive and certainly belong to luxury items.


Un-drawn hearth

Types of heating elements: ceramics taxis and spiral burns

In infrared heaters

Quartz glass tubes with vacuum and tungsten filaments inside (quartz heaters are quite economical, noiseless, they conduct heat well, but the tubes themselves are fragile, although they are covered with gratings, so you cannot drop the device).

Halogen heaters (vacuum inside the tube or bulb is filled with inert gas, the tungsten filament heats up faster and to higher temperatures than in tubes without gas. The same drawback is fragility).
Carbon heaters differ in the previous two in that the filament is not tungsten, but carbon fiber, whose thermal conductivity is higher. The tubes are the same - quartz, inside all the same vacuum. Carbon heaters are super-durable, economical, heat up quickly and cool. Of the minuses: all the same fragility + high cost.


Carbon Infrared Heater

Micatermic heaters made of plates coated with artificial mica are very economical, silent, and safe (the instrument case does not heat up above 60 ° C). Often used in convectors, in general, experts believe that the future belongs to them.

In oil heaters and convectors

Here you can meet the usual heating elements - not so economical, of course.

Ribbon and needle. There is something zoological in the name, although it is easier to build than a living organism: a narrow dielectric plate with loops sticking out of it from chrome-nickel wire. It is cheap, thermal inertia is extremely low (heating and cooling in seconds), the heating temperature is high. The disadvantage is, and big: fragility. Most manufacturers refuse this type of heater.

Tubular. This is a classic: a thread of chromium and nickel passes inside the tube, and along its length there can still be aluminum plates that enhance the heat exchange (in convectors this is especially common). The tubular heater can be heard: it crackles due to the difference in temperature expansion of the materials used. For the rest, there are no special complaints.

Monolithic. All the same chrome-nickel filament and dielectric are in a cast aluminum body with plates-ribs that are one with the body. Monolithic heating elements do not crack, they are reliable, they work practically without heat loss - in a word, they are optimal if the soul lies exactly to the heating elements.

In fan heaters and heat guns

It is still used here and I want to say "good old" electric spirals, but this is wrong: they are old, but unkind. They heat up quickly and to enormous values ​​(for example, 700-800 ° C), but for the same reason they burn dust: there is a smell, the air is too dry. Well, decent power consumption.

Керамические нагревательные элементы предпочтительнее - это уже следующее поколение. Покрытые керамикой пластины имеют большую площадь, а значит, хорошую теплоотдачу, и нагрев до таких адских температур им не нужен. Они экономичнее, равномернее распределяют тепло, меньше сушат воздух.

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